Susie York Skinner leaves NYJO as Chief Executive

May 2, 2024

Susie York Skinner, NYJO’s Chief Executive Officer, will be stepping down this summer after three successful years at the charity. During her tenure, Susie has successfully navigated the post-Covid difficulties that beset so many arts charities, restructured our team and refreshed the Board of Trustees. In 2021, she oversaw the charity’s move to our new home at Woolwich Works, from where we have been able to develop new and exciting community activity to complement our thriving national Learning and Emerging Professionals’ programmes.

In her final few months with NYJO, in collaboration with our Head of Programmes, Vikki Maudave, Susie will embed recent strategic developments that will sow the seeds for pivotal changes to NYJO’s artistic activity, diversifying our musical output and leadership and enabling us to respond increasingly well to beneficiary needs and feedback.

Vikki Maudave commented:

Susie has brought care and kindness to the heart of what NYJO is and does. She has led our small staff team through a challenging three years with generosity of spirit, care and attention. Her work has put NYJO in a considerably more stable position, with a renewed strategic direction and increased capacity to serve young musicians across the UK.

Susie leaves NYJO to return to Gabrieli, with whom she worked from 2011 to 2019, as their new Chief Executive. Here she will develop professional performance and touring activities whilst also delivering an exciting expansion of Gabrieli Roar, the charity’s youth singing programme.

Projjol Banerjea, Chair of the NYJO Board said:

Working with Susie has been a pleasure and one of the highlights of my professional career. I wish her the very best in her new adventures. She leaves NYJO strengthened and invigorated to embrace upcoming opportunities.

Susie will remain with NYJO on an extended notice period until late August; we are delighted that Starfish Search will be leading our recruitment drive to appoint a new CEO.

Lucy-Anne (EP quote)

“Since joining NYJO, I’m so much more confident as a performer. Especially in terms of being able to entertain and keep the crowd engaged with you. It’s really nice to be able to feel that difference.” 

Lucy-Anne, NYJO Emerging Professional (Vocals)

Georgia (EP quote)

“It’s hard to just learn this music in the practice room but being immersed in the music at NYJO is a great environment to really push my playing. ” 

Georgia Ayew, NYJO Emerging Professional (Drums)

Sam Eastmond (MD quote)

"Giving them space to create whatever they wanted, without setting parameters of idiom or style helped them to conceptualise how they could bring these new concepts into their work without scaring them off, or mystifying the process."

Sam Eastmond, NYJO Educator

Jazzwise quote

"NYJO has never been conformist, never hewing to one particular line, never known for fawning replications and very deliberately these days a vehicle for new possibilities."

Jazzwise Magazine

Lydia (EP quote)

"The past year has been an absolutely incredible experience, pushing me way out of my comfort zone into playing with some of the greatest young jazz players of my generation and getting to call them my colleagues and friends has been beyond inspiring, and also an obscene amount of fun!"

Lydia Cochrane, NYJO Emerging Professional (Saxophone)

Anna (Learning national quote)

"[The NYJO residential in Cumbria] helped me to make friends with other young musicians. I enjoy playing a lot more and I’m quite proud of what I’ve accomplished. I feel more confident now. I have learnt different ways of coming up with solid melodies and also a little bit on harmonies. I think it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had."

Anna, NYJO Learning Widening Access participant

Briony (Learning U18s quote)

"I’ve felt very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing musicians, and I think that the environment at NYJO – which has fostered creativity and improvisation – has allowed my confidence and musical ideas to grow."

Briony, NYJO Under 18s

Oscar (Learning U18s quote)

"I think I’ve progressed a lot in my piano-playing. NYJO has helped me to flourish and really enjoy it. I’ve really enjoyed being engrossed in a high level of playing and learning things in a hands-on-way. I also like the diversity of perspectives and abilities of all the players and teachers which enables me to try things I might not normally."

Oscar, NYJO Under 18s

Jennie (Learning U18s quote)

"NYJO has got me listening to more jazz and learning more changes. It has also helped with working as a band. I’ve really enjoyed the free jazz, learning by ear, the people, and the atmosphere."

Jennie, NYJO Under 18s

Leah-Anais (Learning U18s quote)

"I love the people at NYJO. Everyone here is so encouraging and lovely and it makes the experience worthwhile. Though I have fun I’m still learning on the way which makes me feel productive too."

Leah-Anais, NYJO Under 18s

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